Pro-democracy, anti-police brutality Hong Kong protesters have staged a massive sit-in at one of the country's airports, causing the cancellation of all remaining flights on Monday.
The airport canceled the flights late Monday afternoon local time (early morning Eastern Time), citing "seriously disrupted" operations as a result of the protests.
"All check-in service for departure flights has been suspended. Other than the departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights that are already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of [Monday]," a statement from the airport said, adding that flights would resume Tuesday.
Video of the demonstration shows the Hong Kong airport packed with demonstrators.
Big sit-in at #HongKong airport against Police violence. ALL flights are canceled (around 1100/day), protestors oc… https://t.co/6wXyj6Armg— Joyce Karam (@Joyce Karam)1565611809.0
After nearly 12 hours in the airport (spent 2 in terminal 2 earlier randomly) I’m going to revert to livestream - l… https://t.co/vTfTQXhzlO— Erin Hale (@Erin Hale)1565620112.0
The scene at Hong Kong’s airport, where thousands of protesters have flooded the terminal. The airport took the rar… https://t.co/CjqtDdPaOV— Javier C. Hernández (@Javier C. Hernández)1565605716.0
In addition to the sit-in tactics, protesters are also reportedly telling travelers, "Don't trust the police," while holding up images of violent clashes from recent weeks.
Some demonstrators wore eye patches in honor of a protester who suffered a serious face injury when hit by rubber bullet the day before. Other signs read "an eye for an eye."
Many protesters are wearing eye patches in honour of the female protester hit by police fire yesterday as they chan… https://t.co/fmZZIDx5zy— Erin Hale (@Erin Hale)1565588403.0
Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong began months ago over an extradition deal with China. In July, demonstrators broke into a government building. Many in the protests have made a Christian song, "Sing Hallelujah to the Lord," their unofficial anthem. Now, however, protesters are also demonstrating against brutal treatment by police. A couple of weeks ago, a news crew found themselves caught in a chaotic clash between protesters and police.
An AFP report details that other protest signs at Monday's airport demonstration included phrases like "HK police are killing us," and "Hong Kong is no longer safe."
One traveler got into an argument with demonstrators during the protest; one of them responded "you are angry because your flight was cancelled — that's it," while others tried to explain what they and others have suffered at the hands of the government.
“You are angry because your flight is cancelled.” One stranded Australian tourist got into an argument with prote… https://t.co/srttTp9zNX— 𝕛𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕘𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕤 🇭🇰🏴 (@𝕛𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕘𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕤 🇭🇰🏴)1565609717.0
Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997, but has since benefited from the "one country, two systems" approach that has spared the special administrative region from having to conform with many aspects of the mainland's authoritarian system. The proposed arrangement that sparked the demonstrations would have made it easier to extradite criminals to the mainland, which is one of the world's worst human rights abusers.